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How to Train for a Marathon

Train for a Marathon

Running has become increasingly popular in the past few years. Besides the fact that it’s a good way to get fit, running is also accessible to the masses (all you need is a pair of running shoes), a great social activity to do with friends, and a way to test to your endurance with personal goals. If you are a runner or would like to become one, a great motivation is signing up for a race. Chances are, if you’ve signed up for one race, you’ve followed up with several more. The ultimate test for a runner’s endurance is a marathon. There’s a huge sense of accomplishment when you cross that finish line after 26.2 miles.  Perhaps running a marathon is something you’ve always considered, but have needed help in the training department. The first step is committing to the idea; the second is creating an action plan. If you want to run a marathon, you can do it! Here are some tips to help you achieve success with your marathon goal.

Tips for Training

1. Practice good eating habits: Good nutrition is essential to training for a marathon. Healthy eating is your fuel. You wouldn’t drive around with your car on empty; treat your body with the same respect! And remember, running a marathon isn’t about losing weight; it’s about setting a goal and accomplishing it.

2. Replace electrolytes: This is especially important after a long run. If you don’t enjoy the typical athletic drinks, consider coconut water. It’s all natural and an excellent source of electrolytes.

3. Test different gels, gummies, etc: The day of a race is not the time to experiment! There’s a chance your stomach will already feel a little unsettled from anticipation of the race—no need to add to that with something that might upset your stomach! Instead, experiment during your training period with different gels and gummies to find out what flavor tastes best to you and is easiest on your stomach.

4. Replenish glycogen levels: After long runs, be sure to eat carbohydrates and protein within 30 minutes of completing your workout to help restore glycogen levels. This will prevent muscle fatigue during your next run.

5. Build speed and strength: Besides setting a time goal, include hill and interval training at least once a week to increase speed and strength. Both of these will help carry you over the finish line.

6. Follow a training schedule: Creating a running plan will fuel your motivation and set you up for success. Consider a weekly schedule that varies the length of runs, incorporates weight training, adds a day of cross training (biking, stair master, weight lifting), and one or two days off from training (you can still do yoga or a light jog those days).

7. Make efforts to avoid injury: Nothing will stop you faster in your marathon training tracks than an injury. To prevent one from happening to you, make sure that you increase distance before increasing your speed, lift weights, invest in good running shoes, run on softer ground like trails, and don’t forget to stretch!

Whether the next marathon you sign up for is your first or your fortieth, it’s always a good idea to create a marathon training plan. Talk to experienced runners to see how they train and consider these tips to get you off on the right foot. Running a marathon can be in anyone’s future, just remember that the training you do should reflect the length of the race. Be safe and happy trails to you!